Salt Lake City Stars stay in-house, name assistant Nathan Peavy as their new head coach

(Photo courtesy of Salt Lake City Stars) Nathan Peavy

Salt Lake City Stars assistant coach Nathan Peavy will step into the head coaching role vacated last month by Martin Schiller, the team announced Thursday.

Peavy worked for three years with the Stars under Schiller, the reigning NBA G League Coach of the Year. Schiller left to take the head coaching job with Lithuanian powerhouse Zalgiris Kaunas of the EuroLeague.

Peavy’s hiring was front-page news in Puerto Rican sports newspapers, where Peavy played for the national team — his mother is Puerto Rican and swam for that national team — and on four different club teams. In a Zoom press conference announcing the move, reporters from Puerto Rico outnumbered reporters from Utah by a four to one ratio.

Peavy, just 35, began his coaching career in the 2017-18 season under Schiller. He helped guide the team to two playoff berths and an improved winning percentage each season. The Stars went 30-12 in 2019-20 and were atop the Western Conference and second overall in the G League when the season was canceled due to COVID-19.

“Nathan has grown tremendously over the past three years due to his work ethic and devotion to his craft. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his playing career and has a passion for teaching the game,” Bart Taylor, director of scouting for the Utah Jazz and vice president of basketball operations for the Stars, said in a press release. “He has been a pivotal part of establishing a solid foundation for the organization and is absolutely the right person to be the next leader of the team as we move forward.”

Schiller was known for his prowess with player development, and Peavy may build upon that. He had a hand the development of current Utah Jazz players Tony Bradley, Jarrell Brantley, Juwan Morgan, Georges Niang, Royce O’Neale, Miye Oni, Rayjon Tucker, Nigel Williams-Goss and Justin Wright-Foreman during their NBA G League stints.

This story will be updated.